Anne Evans tried every fad diet to lose weight but failed until her daughter booked her in for new treatments beloved by Hollywood stars, as she tells Una Brankin.
Demi Moore reportedly spent $250,000 on cosmetic surgery but she’s opting for non-surgical methods these days, having been pictured at a cyrotherapy centre in LA which uses freezing techniques to get rid of stubborn fat.
Likewise the over-exposed reality star Kim Kardashian happily admits to a little help with her figure from the hi-tech Velahape deep massage device, which goes in the opposite direction by using heat to beat the bulge.
Newry woman Anne Evans (59) never dreamed she’d ever have the chance to have the very same treatments as these Hollywood beauties until her daughter Aisling discovered that both were newly available in Dublin (and subsequently Belfast), and as they were within her budget, she booked her mum in as a pre-birthday treat.
“The menopause had hit me full throttle and the weight had just crept up on me,” says the petite Anne, who has good skin and looks much younger than her years. “I put on over two stone — I went up to 12.4 stone — and was down in the dumps about it and tried every fad diet to try to lose it. I’d only ever lose about four or five pounds, then put it back on again, but was too afraid to go under the knife to get rid of it.
“So I was delighted when my daughter booked me in to the CoolSculpting clinic in Dublin, but the first thing they advised was a medically-supervised low-carb diet to lose the bulk of my weight. I was initially disappointed as diets never really worked for me before, but the pounds just fell off with this one.”
Anne was thrilled with her weight loss and found herself with enough energy once again to walk 45 minutes a day. But she still had some stubborn fat on her tummy, waist and back.
“The love handles were the most annoying — they weren’t as big after the diet but never fully went away, even with exercise. That sort of dense fat is the worst and the hardest to get rid of and that’s where this CoolSculpting treatment comes in. I was so excited when the clinic scheduled my appointment for it — I couldn’t believe I was having the same treatment as the likes of Demi Moore, and without bankrupting my daughter! We could never have afforded all that cosmetic surgery she had but the CoolSculpting was reasonably priced, and didn’t involve any knives.”
Anne’s daughter had done her homework on the treatment and was assured by its approval by the strict American FDA, the Food & Drug Administration which also rates such devices. Developed by Harvard scientists, CoolSculpting uses a targeted cooling process that kills the fat cells underneath the skin, literally freezing them to the point of elimination. Once crystallized, the fat cells die and are naturally eliminated from the body.
“It’s a space-age looking machine with a sort of electronic clamp which the nurse put on each love handle, one side at a time,” says Anne. “This device draws the bulge up between two cooling panels — it felt like a firm pull on the flesh but not sore at all.
“I felt pressure and a stinging cold as the cooling process got under way for the first few minutes but that soon went away and I spent the rest of the hour lying back reading a magazine while the machine did its work. It was actually very relaxing.”
CoolSculpting claims to reduce fat by 20% in the treated area within two months. Some clients apparently see results within three weeks but the body will continue flushing out the fat cells for six months. The results are permanent if the client maintains their weight with a normal diet.
“I’m not big into the gym or taking a load of vitamins so I was glad to hear I didn’t have to take any supplements or go on an exercise regime,” says Anne.
“My sides were a bit red and tingly afterwards for a few hours afterwards but I had no discomfort at all. The nurse told me it would be a month before I’d begin to see a reduction but I kept looking every day to see any difference. I was secretly dying to get back into a bikini if I could’ve found a good body make-up to hide my cellulite and stretch-marks on my tummy.”
To help Anne achieve that goal, the clinic recommended Velashape, another non-invasive FDA-approved device famously used by Kim Kardashian who was filmed having the treatment on her reality show after Paris Hilton commented on her cellulite. (See www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTaDm95TpHw)
Velashape uses mild vacuum suction, mechanical rollers and infrared light and radio-frequency (RF) to treat the superficial fat tissue that leads to cellulite. The heat from the light and RF waves increases the metabolism of this dreaded fatty layer and shrinks the size of the fat cells. The mechanical rollers and vacuum suction stimulate the blood vessels to increase the circulation to the targeted area, as well as massaging the skin to achieve a smoother, less dimpled surface.
“I hadn’t seen the Kim Kardashian show but I had seen Velashape on Dr Phil and read that Jennifer Aniston had used it for cellulite,” says Anne. “It felt very different to the CoolSculpting; it was more like a deep heat mechanical massage, with the odd pinching sensation. I felt sorry for the poor nurse rolling this heavy looking box-shaped device over my tummy for half an hour while I lay up like Lady Muck!
“I kept thinking she’d think I was a lazy old thing doing this instead of sit-ups or whatever but she’d actually had both Velashape and CoolSculpting done herself when she couldn’t get rid of baby weight. I was able to relax when she told me that. My tummy was a bit pink and warm afterwards but I felt great after all that lovely massaging.”
Anne had six half-hour Velashape sessions and noticed her stomach starting to become smoother after three. But there was an extra side-effect she wasn’t prepared for ...
“I thought I was seeing things at first — when I looked down my stretch-marks seemed to
have faded. I thought it was maybe just a temporary effect from the heat and the deep massage but at the end of the six sessions they had definitely improved. The nurse told me lots of clients had noticed the same, it’s a benefit from the infrared light and the radio-frequency, which is supposed to boost collagen and is good for the skin. I was absolutely thrilled!”
About six weeks later Anne was in Belfast for a dental appointment when she caught sight of her new silhouette in a shop window.
“I’d slept in that morning and it started to rain when I was rushing into town. My daughter’s trench-coat was in the back of the car so I threw it on to dash into the dentist, then I just noticed my reflection in a shop window and couldn’t believe it — my daughter is nearly three sizes smaller than me but her coat fitted me and I could actually see my waist where I’d tied the belt. I hadn’t even tried to do the buttons, thinking it would never meet on me.
“Now I’m down to 9st 3lbs and I can’t thank my daughter and the clinic enough — they even gave me some brilliant complimentary hi-tech facials when they heard I was turning 60 which left my face far smoother. But the most important thing is that I’ve got my confidence back and that’s the best birthday present anyone can ever have.”
For upcoming open evenings and further info on CoolSculpting and Velashape in Belfast tel: 028 9042 1616 or go to www.thehospitalgroup.org/belfast-clinic
A n-ice way to shed pounds
The Hospital Group claims that the procedure will produce up to 40% fat reduction.
It says that CoolSculpting targets fats cells alone — fat cells are eliminated in a non-intrusive fashion that exercise and diet can’t achieve as quickly or effectively.
Once crystallized, the fat cells die and are naturally eliminated from your body.
Procedures typically last 1-2 hours so treatments can be preformed without major disruption to the day.
Being non-invasive the procedure does not involve knives or needles nor does it leave any scars.
Clients benefit from long-term results, according to the practitioners.
This, again, is a non-invasive treatment resulting in no downtime — patients can therefore return to their daily activities immediately following treatment.
The treatment precisely targets the area where cellulite or loose skin is located.
The Hospital Group says it is effective on all skin types and all skin colours.